In the fall of 2003, I started grad school. One of the more daunting assignments was to contact 15-20 friends, family, and colleagues who knew me well, and ask them to share a story about a time when I was at my best. My task was to create a portrait of my strengths based on the patterns. It was a powerful learning experience, but it felt unbalanced—what about my weaknesses? I started asking people to share times when I was at my worst. Vomit… but it was just as valuable.
As the end of the year approached, I began to feel like something else was missing. I had received a lot of feedback but I hadn’t given any. So over break, I spent a week writing emails to the 100 people who mattered most in my life, telling them what I appreciated most about them. It’s one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done. And it taught me something about what I valued: the two most common themes were generosity and originality.
Looking back, 100 in one week was a little intense. This holiday season, what if we each picked ten people and told them what we appreciate about them?
Now put on your sorting hat for this final newsletter of 2016:
1. How Trust Affects Team Performance
If I could do one thing to help teams, it would be building trust. When people trust each other, they focus on collective goals instead of individual agendas.